tUMD 6, Yet Another Husky Team 1
I guess UConn should stick to basketball? Ok, not really. I don’t really have anything against UConn and in fact cheer for them in other sports, as members of the RWD Empire are UConn fans/alumni. I’d also like to point out, piggy-backing on a previous post: the state of Connecticut has 4 more D-1 hockey programs than the state of Michigan, alleged home of “Hockeytown, USA.”
After watching an exciting tUMD football homecoming win from the comfort of my home as the wind howled outside, I headed down to AMSoil Arena for tUMD’s game against UConn. Last night Kayla Black shut the Huskies out whille tUMD had 7 goals from Jenna McParland (2), Meghan Huertas, Jordan Krause, Lara Stalder, Zoe Hickel and Bailey Wright. Just another day at the office for these women. I did my best to live tweet the came, but the wireless at the arena was pretty terrible and my phone died at the second intermission.
Karissa Grapp got the start in goal and earned her first win as a Bulldog on the same night as Coach Shannon Miller got her 350th win (overall she is 350-117-39). Exciting for both!
UConn couldn’t even make it 30 seconds into the game without taking a penalty, and Captain Kenyon made them pay with a goal 1:55 into the power play. I love goals that come just as power plays expire: they’re demoralizing for the opponent, and they tire out the penalty killers. (Other goals I find demoralizing include goals scored by the Anaheim Ducks with 5 seconds left in OT. Blah.) Jamie scored a second PPG a little more than halfway through the period, and freshman Ashleigh Brykaliuk scored her first Bulldog goal.
UConn scored their only goal of the weekend during 4×4 hockey, and we learned the Huskies had brought along a fairly large fan contingent. There are 4 Minnesotans on the Huskies, so I’m sure their friends and families were pleased at this opportunity to see their daughters/sisters/friends/etc play, as UConn has no other games within 1000 miles. So, it was charitable of tUMD to give them one little pity goal to let them cheer. I saw some of the Husky fans buying tUMD gear, too. Thank you for your money, folks.
The second period was somewhat unpleasant. tUMD had a bit of a penalty box parade going on, and the Huskies seemed to have made some adjustments during the intermission and came out looking a little better. Aussie Alivia del Basso had the only goal of the period, and it overall felt a little flat.
tUMD came out much better in the third period, with Katherine McGovern getting her first Bulldog goal two minutes in. Whatever Miller said in the locker room much have worked. tUMD was fairly relentless, with several minutes of sustained pressure in the Huskies’ zone that wore the defenders down to the point where they could barely move. It was somewhat disappointing that they weren’t able to produce a goal out of it, because it was some masterful pressure, sustained even as they changed out personnel one by one. The Huskies nearly made things even worse by icing the puck, but their lone player heading off for a change was able to save the icing and allow a change. The Huskies had to use their time out soon after that to regroup, and then things got a little heated as Leah “Plaxico” Buress took offense to something in front of the Bulldogs’ net and got into a shoving match with Jenna McParland. Bailey Wright rounded out the scoring in the final few minutes of play.
Next week the women start conference play against the Nameless Ones, which will be a much better gauge of how good this team is. The freshmen are impressive so far, as do the veteran forwards. Defence is a little tougher (top pairing looks fine, and Sidney Morin is a speed demon!), but to me it seemed like a few folks just made a few bad decisions with the puck, which can be easily corrected. Playing North Dakota should get tUMD tuned up to hand the Gophers a loss or two, if Wisconsin can’t manage it first.